Italian oil and gas company Eni has completed construction of an oilseeds processing plant in Kenya.

The collection and processing facility – or ‘agri-hub’ – in Makueni had started producing vegetable oil for bio-refineries with an expected output of 2,500 tonnes this year and 15,000 tonnes in 2023, the company said on 18 July.

Eni said the plant would extract vegetable oil from castor, cottonseeds and croton and would also produce feed and bio-fertilisers from the oilseed meal for use in livestock and food production.

In addition, the centre would be used as a training and technical support hub for farmers, the company said.

Eni Kenya’s supply chain and all agri-feedstocks would be certified under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC-EU) sustainability scheme, one of the main voluntary standards recognised by the European Commission for biofuel certification (RED II).

The company’s castor and croton had gained ISCC-EU certification for biofuel use under the ISCC-EU scheme.

In partnership with ISCC as part of the Horizon 2020 project, Eni Kenya said it was also taking steps to obtain Low ILUC (low risk of direct and indirect land use change) certification in the next few months.

The first phase of the project in Kenya included the construction of a second agri-hub to reach a total capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year of vegetable oil in 2023, as well as the development of associated agricultural supply chains, the company said.

The start-up of production in Kenya follows earlier agreements made by Eni over the last year in several countries including Angola, Benin, Congo, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Mozambique and Rwanda.